SWRL Construction Progress

 
  normw Junior Train Controller

So their priority must have been to enable access to the SWRL for training / testing (rather than bring the northern flyover into use)

The next trackwork opportunity is the June long weekend (7th to 9th June). There isn't another one on the trackwork planner (which goes up to the end of August) that will allow the northern flyover to be cut in.

My guess is zero chance. With the SWRL in service, there aren't likely to be any services starting / terminating at Glenfield any more. Besides, there are a heap of projects recently completed that are getting rid of conflicting movements on turnbacks - I can't see them tacking something like that onto the well-planned Glenfield interchange (why build two flyovers and then put in a storage siding like that).
It is possible, I guess, that it could become a perway siding.

Yes, it does seem well advanced considering the opening date. It isn't unknown for things to start running prior to the "official" opening date (I would imagine that they would keep the official date reasonably close to the election, so that we all still remember!). Also, there's not really much out that way at the moment (the new stations are pretty much surrounded by commercial farming) and therefore not many passengers to use it (although I do think it's a good idea to build this sort of infrastructure before the houses come, as it gives people a chance to set the neighbourhood up for rail commuting - possibly new home buyers can give up one of their cars in order to help with the mortgage).

With the southern flyover apparently ready, I am wondering whether they will use the start of the SWRL to turn trains around (terminate on platform 3 or 4, turn around on the SWRL tracks, new service commences on platform 1 or 2). Maybe in a couple of months, when the signalling has been commissioned. This would also make sense as there is no track from P2 to the northern flyover, so they would need to move all EH line trains to P1 before bringing the northern flyover online.
maestro

The Leppington Junction OHW would be part of the SWRL project, so its completion at this time may be indicative of how far that project is now advanced, whereas the TCO would logically be a part of the G.T.I. project - different $ buckets, different priorities.

Amazed at the paucity of trackwork weekends you mention; it will be interesting to see what gets a mention in the February CU pdf's (if such there be).

A perway siding would also be a good possibility, given they lost the one that was at Ingleburn.

The size of the carparks at Leppington station could also be useful for commuters coming from as far away as Camden (and Oran  Park,Gregory Hills,Catherine Fields,etc) rather than driving into Campbelltown.

Until an integrated timetable is introduced a Leppington shuttle would be a useful and easy start.

There IS a path from P2 to the northern flyover but it will need the new signal system to access it.
I've put together a small 14k .gif showing the track arrangements at Glenfield and will try to work out how to get it 'here' in the next few days.

Norm

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  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Ingleburn perway siding was replaced by a new construction at the northern end of Campbelltown electrified sidings near Campbelltown road bridge (see SSFL thread for details)

With the 896 bus route serving Gregory Hills and Oran Park and all the up coming Narellan Rd/Balxland Rd roadworks, those two seem to be expected to feed into Campbelltown. FWIW I live right near there and no wy would I travel to leppington.
  normw Junior Train Controller

Ingleburn perway siding was replaced by a new construction at the northern end of Campbelltown electrified sidings near Campbelltown road bridge (see SSFL thread for details)

With the 896 bus route serving Gregory Hills and Oran Park and all the up coming Narellan Rd/Balxland Rd roadworks, those two seem to be expected to feed into Campbelltown. FWIW I live right near there and no wy would I travel to leppington.
jcouch

I am familiar with that siding (a trailing dead-end siding off the Down relief road). By comparison with what WAS at Ingleburn, there is no storage provisions for sleepers,etc and what I think is an oil mat in the 4-foot suggests rail motors and/or track tamping machines were the more likely intended users.

Have had several trips on the 896, and while it does 'visit' the said estates, for the moment at least they are not comprehensive services in terms of coverage. Owning a car already a 'given'; most commuters in these areas would more likely have a mindset to 'drive and train' rather than bus if having to travel long distances to work etc.. The current roadworks on Camden Valley Way would certainly be a negative in the short term, but Narellan Road can still be a parking lot in peak hour, even after recent upgrades.
  maestro Junior Train Controller

Actuall Maestro, there is access to the northern flyover from p2. Although the plans didn't include it, there are a set of leading points from p2 over to p1 on the city end allowing access to the flyover.
jcouch

There IS a path from P2 to the northern flyover but it will need the new signal system to access it.
normw

Wow, you're right. Before I posted I checked my cache from NearMap and the crossover wasn't there (November 2012), but when I checked my own photos from Feb 2013, there it is!
Personally, I see no advantage to this crossover. With the track setup to the south of Glenfield, trains from either line can get to either platform with no conflicting movements. Departing (or changing) passengers could then get used to "platform 1 for east hills line" and "platform 2 for south line", and arriving passengers wouldn't care. Also, without the conflicting movements when leaving Glenfield, you could timetable two trains to arrive and depart simultaneously and allow two-way changes for the passengers (not sure how well this would work in practice with potential late trains - although they would both be fairly close to the start of their run)

Until an integrated timetable is introduced a Leppington shuttle would be a useful and easy start.
normw

I don't see the need for a separate shuttle, they could simply extend all Glenfield terminators through to Leppington, and move the services that commence from Glenfield to commencing from Leppington (timed to get to Glenfield when the service currently starts). This would need a couple of extra trains to cover the additional transport time to/from Leppington, but could be done with zero modifications to the current timetable.
A shuttle would come with the pain of having to turn the train around at the Glenfield end.
Of course they will need to change the timetable at some point in order to achieve the promised service frequency.

The size of the carparks at Leppington station could also be useful for commuters coming from as far away as Camden (and Oran  Park,Gregory Hills,Catherine Fields,etc) rather than driving into Campbelltown.
normw

Well, Leppington station sure means business! I'm just not quite sure yet exactly what that business is. (I'm on the South Coast line and, from memory, there isn't a single station on the whole line (Waterfall to Nowra) that has the same capacity (four through platforms) as Leppington!!!)
It seems as if they're going to use Leppington as a bus interchange for the wider south west growth area, however I don't see the benefit in having four platforms unless they're planning to use it as a rail interchange (i.e. there will be two separate future rail lines from leppington, one going south west and one north west). It'll be many years before we see any action on that front!
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Leppington has a huge nearby catchment area with all the housing extending outwards from Casula, particularly Prestons. Those that may have gone to Glenfield would now much faster get to Leppington just down Camden Valley Way.  The new housing estates are only a few clicks away and as soon as that station gets near to completion you can bet the developers will be licking their chops. I've seen stuff in the local papers advertising "pre development" land purchases becoming available over the last 6 months.

The hole in your plan of just extending the Glenfield terminators to Leppington is what you've noted - the extra travel time. With a typical turnaround time at Glenfield of 15 minutes, that extra 7-8 minutes out and back to Leppington means no time to actually turn around the exact same train to comply with the existing timetable rosters. With extra trains sets you could keep the same timetable but change the working rosters so there's time for driver breaks and people to get onto the train etc.

However, I think the workable solution would what was mentioned earlier - bring liverpool trains in on P3, empty them out, run them up over the southern flyover across a set of points onto the up track and then bring it down onto P2. The only limitation on that would be whatever SafeWork rules would apply for having the driver get out of the seat and walk to the other end of the train to drive back (unless they go the 2 driver route, which still means probably rostering tweaks).

However, However... Smile  Election 12 months away... so likely that as soon as it's ready it will be opened (and much of the M5 West widening completed). Gotta get that political mileage out of the projects serving the "working battlers of South Western Sydney"  to get re-elected.
  normw Junior Train Controller

The main advantage of a shuttle in the SHORT term is that it requires no changes to the current timetables; it can be little more than a brouchure size list of services to/from Leppington that gets people to Glenfield in time to connect with current services. P4 is not used by current services, so a shuttle could terminate on P4 without clashing, passengers can cross to P3 for Cambelltown or points south, or 'jump' over to P1/P2 for Liverpool and East Hills/City; no timetable changes needed. Obviously this is less than optimum but would be good enough until an official opening and fuller service integration via a new timetable.

Both P1 and P2 can receive trains from both Leppington and Campbelltown.The facing 'Up/Up Relief crossover' gives both P1 and P2 the same ability to route trains via either Liverpool or East Hills as needed, rather than just limit P1 for East Hills and P2 for Liverpool. Service difficulties arise and announcements like 'The nn.nn train to xxxx will leave from platform n for today only' are fairly well known; giving both P1/P2 the same routing capabilities can be useful at such times, even if there is a 'normal use' for each platform for a specific route. The other potential user of the 'Up/Up Relief crossover' is by trains standing on P3 (nominal 'Down') and wanting to return via the East Hills Line. Simply take the crossover to the Up Main then the Up/Up Relief crossover to the northern flyover and it's on its way. The existence of the starting signal at the northern end of P3 suggests this is at least a considered possibility.
  normw Junior Train Controller

FYI - February G.T.I. Project Construction Update is now available from the usual site.

A full track closedown weekend is scheduled for the 22nd/23rd of February.

"Work activities within the rail
corridor will include the installation
of cables, overhead wire, lineside
equipment, drainage installation,
the demolishing of existing
footings and track reconditioning." - 22/23 Feb.

"Works will include signal testing,
track welding, tamping and grinding." - During Feb.

No CU Update for the GLRL Project yet posted.

- normw
  maestro Junior Train Controller

FYI - February G.T.I. Project Construction Update is now available from the usual site.

A full track closedown weekend is scheduled for the 22nd/23rd of February.

"Work activities within the rail
corridor will include the installation
of cables, overhead wire, lineside
equipment, drainage installation,
the demolishing of existing
footings and track reconditioning." - 22/23 Feb.

"Works will include signal testing,
track welding, tamping and grinding." - During Feb.

No CU Update for the GLRL Project yet posted.

- normw
normw

Ooops, not sure how I missed that closedown (it was in the long term planner that I was looking at before).

No mention of laying track, so I guess the Northern flyover will remain unchanged.
  normw Junior Train Controller

"No mention of laying track, so I guess the Northern flyover will remain unchanged.

- maestro"

Perhaps not totally ignored. Wooden sleepers have one advantage over concrete sleepers; they can flex a little if the stresses require it. Curves typically tighten compared to straight track, and this leads to increased train resistance (== more tractive effort to pull a train at a given speed). For wooden sleepers this is mitigated to some extent by the sleepers flexing, thereby opening the track gauge a little as the train traverses the curve. Concrete sleepers however don't have any 'give', so it is usual practise to grind the inside faces of the rail heads as they traverse a curve to 'open up' the gauge and thereby reduce train resistance. As the flyovers include both a rising grade combined with a long sweeping curve, there is a very good chance that some (most?) of the track grinding listed for February will be applied to them.

Depending on the duration of 'testing' for the northern flyover, a simple method might just cut the 'Up' East Hills track and weld it on to the end of the flyover track (This avoids building an entire point assembly). If tests are successful, it stays, else the track goes back to its old place. If testing is protracted, such that some trains are routed over the flyover and others are not, then points (perhaps unpowered) would seem to be the obvious approach.

However I doubt anything will be routed over the flyover until the new signalling comes into use, and initially at least, it will probably support routing East Hills 'Up' trains both via the flyover AND via the existing ground level crossovers. And signal testing is listed for the entire month.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
There was a large section of track up in the blue mountains where they cut it in over a single weekend a couple of years back. Wonder if they'd try that here?  Complexity is probably a lot higher with all the junction, so probably not.
  normw Junior Train Controller

As far as I understand it, Glenfield signalling uses computer systems to provide operator display and interlocking, but as computer systems cannot directly control point motors and signals, or connect directly to the track circuits to provide train detection, there is a level of circuit interface where the computer system uses electronic modules to connect between the computer system and signalling devices:

Output Modules - Point Motors, Signal Lamps, Train Stops (1 for each device)

Computer

Input Modules - Point Detectors, Track circuits, Train Stops (1 for each device)

I presume they know the computer hardware part is working properly as it probably runs the current system. What they will most likely be testing are the NEW circuits between the new signalling devices and their various input and output modules, located in the huts at trackside. Once this new part of the system has been tested (i.e. Each module correctly operates a device or receives proper information from a device), the next step is to reprogram the computer for the proper interlocking, as there are now a lot more points and track circuits to consider when setting up routes, and more complex signal displays as well.

Computer software can readily be generated and run on a spare computer to get the bugs out, so I assume most of the present work is related to testing each device back to its control module and that all the wiring is correct.

All this suggests a phased changeover is not practical, as, due to a wiring fault (for example), the last device to be tested may have an un-intended affect on a device already deemed 'tested'. So I think it will all come online together, and as it only takes four mounting bolts and a few wires to get an old signal from line of sight, it is still feasible I think to do a changeover in the course of one weekend. (They could also start on removing old footings, wiring, etc.)

Edit for formatting.
  normw Junior Train Controller

FYI - February G.L.R.L. Project Construction Update is now available from the usual site.

Nothing noted as completed in January so it is basically 'January+ditto'.

However the Project web site has now revised actual revenue service for 2015; perhaps any services before then will be free???
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
As far as I understand it, Glenfield signalling uses computer systems to provide operator display and interlocking, but as computer systems cannot directly control point motors and signals, or connect directly to the track circuits to provide train detection, there is a level of circuit interface where the computer system uses electronic modules to connect between the computer system and signalling devices:

normw


Glenfield was originally an all-relay interlocking.

When it was expanded to include the P1 turnback, the interlocking part was replaced by an SSI, while retaining the original signal and point control relays in the field.

Amongst other reasons, this hybrid system would have overcome the lack of space in the main relay room.

The new Glenfield Junctions is bigger still; it may or may not retain relays for existing points and signals, while using CBI (Computer Based Interlocking) equipment for new points and signals.
  normw Junior Train Controller

awsgc24 thanks for the corrections! The new points (all?) appear to be E.P. powered and controlable by SSI/CBI via appropriate interface modules; certainly all the new signals would be in that category.

There are at least two new 'large-ish' signal huts installed for this project, one near Glenfield by Roy Watts Rd., and the other just north of Macquarie Fields station. The new huts look large enough to house whatever is needed for the new equipment at least. Hybrids are a technical novelty but even if they keep it that way (I'd be all for full CBI), one can only hope they give the relay building a good coat of grafitti-resistant paint!

The following quote is from Wikipedia (/Solid_State_Interlocking):

"Australia is also an extensive user of SSI, particularly New South Wales, where it is installed at busy locations such as Hurstville - Oatley, North Sydney, Wyong, Granville, Enfield, Blacktown, Olympic Park and others within the RailCorp network."

Edit - added following sentence:

Glenfield, with four major destinations, myriad crossovers and turnback potential would appear a good choice for full SSI also.
  normw Junior Train Controller

With the Badgery's Creek cat almost out of the bag, we just need a rumour of a South-South-West Rail Link to surface to explain the four platforms at Leppington.
  Highrise Assistant Commissioner

The rumour already exists:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/badgerys-creek-airport-key-to-expansion-in-western-sydney-20131111-2xcgx.html
But it would cost in excess of $1 billion for more extensive transport upgrades. These would include a 13 kilometre extension of the south-west rail link being built to Leppington. Since the early 1990s, plans for the south-west rail link have always included an eventual extension to an airport at Badgerys Creek, where the federal government owns 1700 hectares of land.

  maestro Junior Train Controller

The rumour already exists:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/badgerys-creek-airport-key-to-expansion-in-western-sydney-20131111-2xcgx.html
Highrise


And also...
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/badgerys-creek-railway-mapped-out-as-tony-abbott-promises-airport-decision-20140205-3211n.html
Which includes a map of proposed extensions to the SWRL


AAArgh... I've edited this post a dozen times and can't get rid of the darn quote box around the part that I wrote!
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Yes, it was always expected that the whole reason for the SWRL was really to feed the airport, and with the added bonus of all the industry and housing that would come around that area. Now, if they would take the southern of the two routes in that image and branch at south creek, running it down Northern Road and connecting up with the Glenlee triangle when the coal wash closes down to form a loop, that would be just perfect Smile Unfortunately, planning for Oran Park seems to completely ignore public transport altogether. The whole design is totally car oriented Sad

Edit: Found an online article about recent push to put a train station at Gleelee:
http://www.camdenadvertiser.com.au/story/1467512/rezoning-raises-rail-hopes/)
  normw Junior Train Controller

FYI - FINALLy... two new pix at the Govt.'s SWRL Project site; one is dated Feb,'14, the other Jan,'14 and neither have OHW visible...

- Leppington Station from the Rickard Road overbridge (ballasted track on all platforms),
- the tunnel under the expressway.

As track-based lifting machines/lift platforms are still likely needed to finish off Leppington station, not having OHW within the station precinct makes sense, but the tunnel seems otherwise finished.

Anyone seen either station 'up-close' in more recent days?
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
If all you want is a rumour, the SW Link will be extended NW to the Badgerys Creek Airport (Airport to Airport/City fast services) and also SW to Oran Park, between Camden and Camden Airport, parallel to Finns Rd and rejoin the Main South around Menangle Park. This route will provide services to Oran Park and Camden stations, enable long distance trains to avoid the stopping service pattern on the Campbelltown line, use the Wentworth deviation corridor to Mittagong and beyond, leave freight using the SSFL and use Leppington as an intercity/regional/airport service interchange.
  maestro Junior Train Controller

Yes, it was always expected that the whole reason for the SWRL was really to feed the airport, and with the added bonus of all the industry and housing that would come around that area. Now, if they would take the southern of the two routes in that image and branch at south creek, running it down Northern Road and connecting up with the Glenlee triangle when the coal wash closes down to form a loop, that would be just perfect Smile Unfortunately, planning for Oran Park seems to completely ignore public transport altogether. The whole design is totally car oriented Sad

Edit: Found an online article about recent push to put a train station at Gleelee:
http://www.camdenadvertiser.com.au/story/1467512/rezoning-raises-rail-hopes/)
jcouch


Or they could take the top route to the airport, but also branch at Leppington to take the first half of the bottom route and continue south.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

My concern is with the Airport and East Hills Line overcrowding once links to Oran Park/Camden and Badgery's Creek Airport are built. Unless new infrastrucutre such as additional tracks are built, there is no way of increasing service levels both on the Bankstown and East Hills Lines as the 20 TPH limit will be maxed out once the SWRL is finished (2015-2016). Even if they do manage with 24 TPH around the city circle and divert Bankstown trains clockwise around the city circle, 24TPH (including local Revesby services) on the Airport East Hills Line still wont be enough in peak hours.

I'd say extending Bankstown Line's Liverpool terminators to Camden/Badgery's Creek Airport to ease congestion on the East Hills Line and make these services express. This means additional Campbelltown/Macarthur and Local Revesby services which residents will benefit from.
  grog Train Controller

My concern is with the Airport and East Hills Line overcrowding once links to Oran Park/Camden and Badgery's Creek Airport are built. Unless new infrastrucutre such as additional tracks are built, there is no way of increasing service levels both on the Bankstown and East Hills Lines as the 20 TPH limit will be maxed out once the SWRL is finished (2015-2016). Even if they do manage with 24 TPH around the city circle and divert Bankstown trains clockwise around the city circle, 24TPH (including local Revesby services) on the Airport East Hills Line still wont be enough in peak hours.

I'd say extending Bankstown Line's Liverpool terminators to Camden/Badgery's Creek Airport to ease congestion on the East Hills Line and make these services express. This means additional Campbelltown/Macarthur and Local Revesby services which residents will benefit from.
Alfred3333

The recently leaked internal CBD capacity planning report (http://images.smh.com.au/file/2014/01/29/5115403/1_Futurerailplan.pdf?rand=1390985051657) has quite detailed operational planning for the network post SWRL/NWRL/CBD rail expansion.

It shows that once the CBD rail link is built as rapid transit and takes over the Bankstown line and Hurstville locals, 20tph will be available to the Airport line - 4tph to Revesby, and 16tph to Macarthur/Leppington. It then goes further and says in the long term, in conjunction with a potential Northern Beaches line that the Revesby locals could be added to the rapid transit line, freeing the entire 20tph for travel from Macarthur/Leppington.

This is probably the most detail we have seen on their plans for operating the SWRL to date, so I would encourage a read.
  normw Junior Train Controller

While ever political parties continue to 'plan' Sydney's future using a centralised CBD ('centralised' started back in the 1700's and continues to today), transport infrastructure will continue to grow to service the morning and evening rush hour and be way under-used for the remainder of the day (all those infrastructure $billions waiting for 4pm). Developers like building skyscrapers in the city more for their $ value in resale than anything of a practical bent, while the state has to keep growing CBD services such as water, sewage and electricity to keep up with more and more people being stuffed into the CBD for part of the day. (As an aside, Bradfield had planned for more rail lines through the CBD but in the end they were 'abandoned' by political choices.)

I find it hard to believe the concept of a city has changed so little in 250 years, with each new tinkerer doing largely what their predecessor did, for personal safety in the even of an oops - "not my fault - I just copied what they did".

Not directly related to SWRL, but SWRL's ulimate aim is to get more people into the CBD.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

The Bankstown Metro won't likely finish construct in the next 20 years at least.

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